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This was written for the school orchestra at Devonport High School for Boys, Plymouth, and essentially reflects the number of available players there at the time. It was quite a small ensemble and, for example, whilst there were two cellos and no bass, the first cellist, David Berdinner, was an accomplished player and so this is seen in the relative difference between the first and second parts. The piano part is somewhat more elaborate at times, but the whole thing can easily be managed by any small school orchestra, together with a grade 8 pianist. There is a slight hint of John Ireland’s Minuet in the writing and choice of key, but at that time we all tend to be somewhat eclectic.
Some short while ago, I was contacted by Johannes Schlesinger, of Hamburg, Germany, to tell me that his wife liked the piece, and that she would be using it with her Year 7 Musicians. It suited her instrumentation and resources perfectly, but husband, Johannes couldn’t help noticing that where there was a ’weakness’, it was in the layout. I totally agreed with Johann on this, as this was submitted back in 2001, and I know that ’layout’ wasn’t necessarily my strongest point (hopefully I have improved this area of my work over the years!)
Of course, Johannes is a professional music-engraver by trade, and so layout would be especially concerning to him. He kindly offered to reset my layout, which he has now done, and I think it looks so much better, and professional.
To find out more about Johannes, take a look at his website at Notensatz Schlesinger.
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.
Reviews of Minuet for Small Orchestra & Piano
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